I know I’ve been away for a little while. I needed a break from writing about games, just to recharge the ol’ mental batteries. But it’s mid-April now, so I had to come back because today is VGJunk’s eighth anniversary! I can’t believe it’s getting so close to being a full decade. Anyway, long-time readers will know that I usually celebrate the anniversary by writing about a game I really like, because it’s my actual birthday tomorrow and I deserve a treat. However, this year is different. This year, I made a visual novel!

While I was having a break I wanted to try something different, so I spent a week or so faffing about with the visual novel creator Renpy. The result is A Light Inside, a short spooky (but not too horrifying) story that you can download for free here:

Download A Light Inside – Google Drive / Mediafire

I wasn’t able to do much testing (especially on the Mac version) but I tried it on few Windows computers and it all worked fine; just download, unzip and go. Normal disclaimers in this kind of situation apply, of course.

The main goal for me was to get past the fact that I have very (very) limited artistic or musical talent – my attempt at breaking through that feeling that everything has been done before, and better, by people more talented than I. Sometimes just getting something done is enough, you know? Plus there’s the fun of learning a new system, and I did have fun. I enjoyed limiting myself to the ZX Spectrum colour palette (with a couple of cheats) and creating some simple music, so who knows? Maybe I’ll go back and make something more fully-fledged later on.

If you give A Light Inside a try, I hope you enjoy it. It should only take about fifteen minutes to get through, and if you spot any problems with it feel free to let me know. Even if you don’t try it, thanks for visiting VGJunk. It’s been a weird year, but writing about old videogames is definitely something that helps keep me sane, and I’ll be getting back to it soon enough. And hey, now the ten-year anniversary is visible on the horizon. I really hope I get there. Thanks, as always, for reading.

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